Lope De Aguirre’s 1560 Expedition Through the Amazon Rain Forest in Quest of El Dorado: Together with a Revisionist Interpretation of the Murder of the Most Beautiful Mestiza of Peru

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This enjoyable novelistic styled historical book is a serious scholarly study and careful reconstruction of the events of the Amazon expedition of Lope de Aguirre in his failed quest to find the fabled city of El Dorado, including the murders of Ursúa and Inés de Atienza. This fascinating work captures the intrigue of Amazonian exploration as well as the political and cultural ambiance of this colonial period in South America.


“This book re-tells and re-interprets the story of one of the most notorious entradas into the interior of South America during the age of the Spanish conquistadors – namely the great expedition from Peru deep into the Amazon basin in search of El Dorado, or the land of gold, in 1560-61. Zogbaum focus her attention in what amounts to a comprehensive reinterpretation of the expedition and its aftermath…The book portrays the Ursúa-Aguirre expedition in a new light, challenges the traditional assumptions … and provides the first real insight into the role and personality of Inés. It is also an admirably scholarly work, displaying impressive mastery of an abundant pool of source materials.”
-Dr. Anthony Disney
Scholar Emeritus,
LaTrobe University / Melbourne

“This is a fascinating and well-researched exploration of the 1561 Ursúa expedition that set out in search of the famed territory of El Dorado in Amazonia… Zogbaum’s account, though, stands out as a highly original and vividly written contribution that blazes new trails. Her book will appeal not only to academic historians and students but also to a broader public that has always been fascinated by tales of Amazonian exploration and colonial adventure.”
-Professor Barry Carr,
Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

“Zogbaum’s easy style conceals the rigour of an academic whose command of Spanish and knowledge of the period makes this a book that takes into consideration and adds depth to the many works that touch on the subject. She comes up with an old story in a new garb… a thoroughly enjoyable book, of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the exploration of Amazonia, of Colonial Peru, and the position of women in it.”
-Dr. W.J. Murray,
Reader in History,Retired,
La Trobe University, Melbourne

Table of Contents

Foreword by Anthony Disney
Author’s Foreword
The Murder
-A Deed to be Remembered
The River
-The Great Ensnarer
The Victim
-A Woman in Search of a Male Protector
The Lover
-A Man in Sea
rch of Fame and Fortune
The Murderer -Or a Man’s Last Chance
-The Legal Aftermath or how to Destroy Characters

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